Evolutionary psychology, the idiot cousin of evolutionary theory, has dropped another bombshell of scintillating cutting edge science on us – when a kid calls the kid across the street a “poopyhead” he’s not being mean. He is just following the dictates of his genes, because teasing is an evolutionary adaptation, don’t you know.
Dacher Keltner, a professor of psychology at Berkeley, gives us this
Given the perils of negotiating rank, many species have evolved dramatized status contests, relying on symbolic displays of physical size and force to peacefully sort out who’s on top. Stags roar. Frogs croak. Chimps throw branches around. Hippos open their jaws as wide as possible to impress competitors. And humans tease. Teasing can be thought of as a status contest with a twist. As humans evolved the ability to form complex alliances, the power of a single individual came increasingly to depend on the ability to build strong bonds.
For our Darwinist friends I have a question. You are always talking about how evolutionary theory is science because its various hypotheses are subject to being falsified. Please, oh please, tell me how, it is possible to falsify this just-so story. Or are you as embarrassed for Keltner as the rest of us?